Saturday, October 6, 2012

Retirement Prenups

The New York Post reported on a trend of increasingly bizarre prenuptial agreements. It’s not too surprising that a bride-to-be would want to be compensated for marital sex in the event of a divorce. Likewise, “no smoking” and “no cheating” clauses are to be expected. But not being rude to the wife’s parents? Or having to make an annual pilgrimage to a Rice Diet Program? Not your typical boilerplate.

As I took this in, it occurred to me that there’s a more important agreement for seniors to craft. That’s a retirement prenup. Yes, dear readers, it’s crucially important for partners to have an advance understanding of what they can or cannot do when they retire. Following are suggestions for you to consider for your own retirement prenup.

Based on my own experience during my first year or so of retirement, I’d suggest a clause that says the maximum amount of weight you can gain each year should be whatever the national average is for your sex and age group. That seems reasonable. I think that’s about one pound per year for me, so I’ve used up about ten years of my retirement allowance already. I can offer this in a prenup since I assume they can’t be retroactively enforced.

Also based on my recent behavior, husbands might want to stipulate that retirement is no excuse to be delinquent in dying your gray roots. The penalty should probably kick in when the gray goes beyond ½ inch. Most months I’d be in trouble even if the limitation were 1 inch.

An extension of the gray roots clause should be a prohibition on dying your hair red or pink (or purple or orange). Fluorescent highlights should also be banned. And those feather and bead extensions that are all the rage right now. Blue hair that happens by accident at the beautician’s could be tolerated for a short period, but the prenup should specify how long you get to correct the problem.

Here’s one the wives will love. No Velcro shoes without a written exemption and the spouse’s approval of the footwear prior to its purchase. Nothing screams “retiree” like those parallel sets of straps, not to mention the annoying sound they make when they’re undone. Shoot me now, because I know my husband will eventually be wearing these.

Another popular retiree purchase is the Hoveround® scooter. Once again, this is a clear tip off that you’re retired. If I had a retirement prenup, I’d have a serious penalty clause associated with my husband’s acquisition of one of these scooters. Unless it’s fire engine red, with a sidecar. And matching helmets.

Both partners should appreciate a clause that reads you cannot hang out in your PJs all day unless you’re sick. I’d go even further by stating that changing into sweat pants does not count as getting dressed. Similarly, you should not be allowed to wear slippers with animal heads on the toes. Ever.

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but you might want to set a limit on how many hours per day can be spent cuddling the family pet. Two hours is probably about right, but personally, I’d lobby for three. And that would be per pet, of course. Likewise, you should put a limit on how many animals can be rescued from the pound once you’re in retirement. I won’t even speculate on what that number should be.

Many folks decide to learn a foreign language in retirement. If that’s not in your wheelhouse, be sure to state that you will not be forced to learn one along with your spouse. You might also want to put in writing that your partner cannot try to teach that language to the family pet.

Another post-retirement hobby is music, especially taking up an instrument. This area also needs careful prenup discussion. Consider restricting the hours of practice (both in number and time of day). You might even want to prohibit certain instruments, but that could be squeaky to negotiate.

Prenups are delicate agreements, not to be entered into lightly. The retirement prenup is a whole new category for attorneys to sink their teeth into. I suggest you get yours done before the inevitable crush this blog post will create. The cost to get one prepared is certain to go sky high. Oh, another thing. Be sure to decide up front who’s paying the lawyers to draft this sucker.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is pretty hilarious but so true!! I sometimes hear people say that prenuptial agreements are unromantic and imply that the marriage won’t last. As an expat living in Thailand, I constantly see older, retired foreigners (both male and female) forego Thailand prenuptial agreements only to end up completely broke after their spouses decide to stop working after getting married and take up crazy expensive hobbies, take huge investment risks, or take their money and run off with another person. If you are a couple who decides to get a prenuptial agreement, then why not go all out? You have fewer rights without prenups; who knows if your partner intends to totally blow your money or take advantage you in any number of ways after taking vows? I don’t understand why people wouldn’t want to protect what’s valuable to them with a prenup, but it’s a deeply personal choice.